Review of "Have Gun, Will Travel" From The TV MegaSite
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DVD TV Show Reviews

Have Gun Will Travel - The Complete Second Season

 Have Gun Will Travel - The Complete Second Season  (DVD)

  Review by Suzanne 8/11/05

This is a great show.  I had always heard about this show from my older brothers (it started 4 years before I was born), but I'd never seen it until now.  For some reason, they didn't re-run it the way they do so many other westerns from the 50's and 60's.  It is the best of them all.  Richard Boone, the star, has a very expressive face, the kind that is really unusual for the "strong silent type" that you normally see in these shows.  He would have made a great film character actor.

The show is a half-hour drama (something we never see today but it was more common back then), so not a moment is wasted.  It moves quickly, unlike many shows from the the 1960's-1990's.  There is plenty of talk and action alike.  Today's audiences, with the shorter attention span, should appreciate that.

Boone stars as Paladin, a gunslinger for hire.  He is a hero, bringing back criminals and defending the helpless.  He has a moral and legal code that he lives by and he reminds others of their duties to what's right and wrong.  He lives in San Francisco hotel but gets jobs via the telegraph.

The show is very good and intelligent, especially compared to today's shows.  It has its moments of complexity, yet the way it comes together at the end of each show is surprisingly simple.  Paladin is educated, sophisticated, witty, and suave, despite being able to handle a gun and knowing his way around tough places like the desert or a prison.  He is everyman, but actually he's a little bit better than every man.  He is what we should all aspire to be.

I grew up watching a lot of the old westerns because my dad liked them, especially "Gunsmoke" and "Bonanza".  This is way better than those shows.  Its more dramatic episodes remind me somewhat of Gunsmoke, but it is not heavy-handed the way that should could be.  It does not even have the blaring dramatic music that now would make it sounded dated.  The lighter episodes remind me a little of my other favorite western, "Maverick".

Even though Paladin is a hero, he wears black (go figure!).  Maybe that's why people tend to underestimate him or think he is merely a hired killer.  It works for him.  The stories are intriguing and original, written by some of the best writers of the day (including Star Trek's Gene Roddenberry). I don't know why there hasn't been a TV or movie remake of this show.  These stories could easily be retold.  Just in case they don't, rent or buy this set.  You won't be sorry! Even though it's in black and white, it is very watchable for anyone to enjoy.


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Updated 8/11/05  

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